Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Calif. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is right, NRA is venal…and more

Lee Fang recently in The Nation asked: “Does the NRA represent gun manufacturers or gunowners?”  He doesn’t answer the question specifically but does point out, “Is the NRA working for casual gun-owners, many of whom, according to polling, support tougher restrictions on gun ownership— or is the NRA serving the gunmaker lobby— which is purely interested in policies that will promote greater gun sales and more profits?”  The answer should be blatantly obvious to any rational human being who has followed the unswerving radicalism of Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Assn. (NRA).
Wacky Wayne laPierre
Wacky Wayne and his 2nd Amendment rights absolutism has become ad nauseum but what is absolute is the fact that LaPierre’s zany antics are clearly in favor of promoting gun manufacturer profits, along with his near-million dollar annual salary, and not what a majority of gun owners want.  And it is pretty clear that the NRA now has financial ties to the $12 billion a year gun industry based on their donations to the NRA since 2005 of almost $39 million. 
As an example, Freedom Group, which owns Bushmaster, the company that made the AR-15 military-style rifle used by Adam Lanza in his bloody assault on Sandy Hook has donated between $25,000 and $49,000 to the National Rifle Assn. (NRA).
In the Huff Post, Josh Sugarman, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, said, “I think it’s much easier for policymakers to defend the NRA when they’re perceived as efforts on behalf of gun owners. That equation changes dramatically when they’re seen as defending the gun industry.”  So we have a triple threat going here.  1.) The possibility the NRA’s recent shenanigans will turn off Congress.  2.) The possibility the same will turn off some NRA members.  3.) And finally it will turn off the America public.  All in all it adds up to real trouble for Wayne LaPierre and his minion gun nuts.
This long-standing ability of the NRA to bulldoze congressional leaders is already on the wane as evidenced by the last election.  During the presidential and congressional elections, the NRA spent $17.4 million, while President Obama was reelected and the organization failed to win six out of seven Senate races.  Nowhere was the heat on to defeat Obama like its pursuit by the NRA’s head Wayne LaPierre, except maybe with Sen. Minority leader Mitch McConnell four years ago.  When the President took office, McConnell said the main goal of the GOP was to see that Barack Obama was not reelected.
So what does all this have to do with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (left picture) calling the NRA “venal?”  First, the definition of venal is: “Willing to sell one’s influence, especially in return for a bribe; open to bribery; mercenary.”  Further, the explanation of “mercenary” is: “Working or acting merely for money or other reward.”  Wayne LaPierre has taken an organization that has a record of supporting reasonable gun control laws and turned it into a façade that gives a new meaning to corruption and unscrupulous lobbying.  And it is time that the NRA should be investigated based on its non-profit status.
In 2012 GOP pollster Frank Luntz conducted a survey for Mayors Against Illegal Guns and found that 74% of NRA members support mandatory background checks for all gun purchases.  Wacky Wayne LaPierre and his NRA gun nuts have been adamantly against this and any new gun law, no matter how reasonable.  In 2004 the NRA fought successfully for Congress not to renew the assault weapons ban, the kind of weapons used in many of the recent mass gun massacres.  It was Dianne Feinstein that pushed through this law originally passed in 1994 under Bill Clinton’s administration. 
The NRA is constantly instilling fear into its members telling them that President Obama is going to take away their guns.  Many of them gullible enough to buy this crap run right out and buy more guns.  And that makes the NRA and gun manufacturers both happy and wealthy, but simply leaves these members with less in their bank account.  If this kind of momentum is allowed to continue, it will be necessary to eventually pass a law on how many guns are allowed in one household.  By now the absurdity of this whole issue should be obvious, even to the gun nuts.

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